Circumstances have meant that I have not been out walking for a couple of weeks but it has given me the opportunity to look back at some of my old images and review some of the memorable days.
One of these was when I did a walk up to Cavell Pond had had the chance to gaze up to Angel Glacier. I was on a trip to Canada but decided to see the country by train. Jean and I had flown in to Toronto and after spending a couple of days sightseeing and a visit to Niagara Falls we boarded the VIA rail Canadian for our journey across Canada. The Canadian is a beautifully restored 1950 train complete with observation and dining cars that crosses the country from Toronto to Vancouver, a trip that takes five days.
After settling in to our very compact compartment we could relax and look out of the window, we saw trees, trees and more trees. Occasionally we caught a glimpse of a lake. Twenty four hours later as we entered the dining car for our evening meal the waiter said “Good evening, Welcome to the prairie”. What was he on about?. When we looked out of the window there was not a tree in sight. We were in a cornfield. Totally flat as far as the eye could see. The next morning we went into the observation car, but surprise surprise, we were still in a cornfield. Later in the day we could see something on the horizon. It was ‘The Rockies’. As we got closer the scenery got better and better.
We left the train at Jasper. It had been a fantastic journey and we had seen far more than if we had flown over at 35000 ft. But, I had itchy feet. The train must have been close to half a mile long but walking up and down the corridor was not the same as walking outdoors. I needed to get my boots on and go for a walk.
Our chance came the next day when we joined a walk up to Cavell Pond on the slopes of Mount Edith Cavell. We travelled by minibus to the trail head at the end of the Cavell Road and then took the steps from the far end of the car park to the Edith Cavell Memorial. Initially the path was paved and it climbed steadily for half a mile. There were little streams to cross with the help of plank bridges.
The path runs through a wasteland of glacial debris left by the retreating Cavell Glacier but there were occasional patches of colour.
Cresting a rise we had our first view of Cavell Pond. On the far side is Cavell Glacier which calves off icebergs into the lake. Above and to the right is Angel Glacier with its wings spread out, onto the rim of a cirque and the gown drapes down over the edge. The the left of the angels left wing was Ghost Glacier which clung to the steep slope of the mountain.
We made our way down to the edge of the pond and the scenery was breath-taking.
I could not get over the look of the water. It was flat calm but I had the impression of slow rolling waves. The water looked almost viscous. I think it was just reflections.
One mini iceberg had reached the shore and I could not resist the temptation to climb upon it to have my photo taken.
It was probably one of the silliest things that I have done. If I had fallen backwards I would have been in deep trouble. The water temperature was only just above freezing and I would have had to got out quick.
It was so peaceful here. Silent with no man-made sound. Just the occasional creak from the glacier high above us.
Soon it was time to return by a path alongside the creek. Just time for a last look back at this pristine wilderness.
I understand that it is no longer possible to complete this loop trail. A few years ago Ghost Glacier fell from the face of the mountain causing a tidal wave of water, ice and debris to flow down the valley. Due to the further danger of falling rock and ice it is no longer permitted to go beyond the viewpoint to reach Cavell Pond.